This article was originally published on Medium and is republished with permission.
The excuses are really getting so annoying. Facebook tried it so hard with the “pipeline” bullshit, after Zuckerberg had to give the entire company a notice to tell assholes to stop erasing #BlackLivesMatter from the damn boards and replacing it with #AllLivesMatter. (Yeah, I totally wanna work in that hostile ass environment!)
We have companies like Twitter who could fit all their Black engineers in a very tiny ass plane, writing a brand new manifesto every fucking year about how they’re “rededicated to diversity”. Slack and Pinterest are hiring shitholes like Paradigm, which is a company of all white women, to “fix” their diversity problems, and a group of rich WoC started ProjectInclude to set real initiatives back 20 years by essentially acting as a WoC fence to block companies that will never change from any real method of scrutiny.
And y’all still blaming the damn pipeline.
Five percent of CS graduates are Black. If you consider that we make up about 12.5% of the country yeah, that’s not exactly a high number. But that 5%? Are struggling to find and keep gainful employment. A third of Black ppl in STEM WITH DEGREES are underemployed. A tenth with degrees in tech related fields are unemployed. Black students more aggressively pursue jobs than white students because they know this, according to the evidence, but still: no dice.
And you wanna talk some shit about the pipeline? Why don’t you employ that 10% of Black ppl with a Bachelor’s degree in the damn field that can’t find a fucking job? Why don’t you pay real money to the 32% of Black ppl who are underemployed? How about trying the Black ppl who don’t have a job in their field because they can’t get one?
Because companies don’t like hiring Black people.
It’s much easier to blame the pipeline. To focus on how many little Black girls decide they don’t want to do math by high school despite being interested in elementary school. To throw money by the fuckload at “Teach Them Poor Niglets To Code” initiatives. After all, look how much PRESS it gets your company. Makes you look good, helping those poor inner city kids who’d probably otherwise run to a gang, right? Because that’s how Black kids are? Either in tech or in a gang! Such good tech company!
Now, I’m not saying helping kids is bad. I know that’s how people will want to take this, and let me clarify: helping kids is great. But helping kids is helping people who cannot critique the work you are doing. Who cannot give you a real perspective on it. If the kids fail after they age out of the program, eh, it’s not your fault, right? You tried. If the kid never goes into tech in college, eh, it’s not your fault, right? You tried.
By focusing on teaching Black people rather than accepting that there are already Black people with knowledge, you do two things:
- You continue the idea that Black people are stupid and just need more teaching, save the few Ivy Leaguers that already came from well-off backgrounds.
- You help in ways that do not actually put wealth-yielding money back into Black communities, but rather just make you look good.
The solution is so simple: Just Hire Black People. And yet such a simple solution to hire the Black people already here in tech, begging you for a damn job, never crosses anyone’s mind. Why? Why is the one thing that actually could build wealth in the Black community the last thing on everyone’s minds? If all those underemployed and unemployed Black people had jobs, their children would automatically be given access to better educations and all that pipeline shit you argue.
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You wanna know why?
Because despite all your fucking yammering about how low the opportunities are for Black ppl to get into technology are because of systemic racism, making graduation with a tech related degree difficult, you don’t actually believe the degree makes Black ppl qualified. You believe that regardless of education, Black people need to be in this constant state of learning for years and years and years with no salary to get to your impossible standards, after which they’ll enter companies that will actively display racism against them and not give a shit.
White ppl barely need a degree to get a job in tech. Black people need 3 degrees from an Ivy League and 17 internships to make much less than those white people.
But the “pipeline” is the problem you’re focusing on?
Sounds like shit to me.
The problem with diversity in tech isn’t Black people. It’s the fucking gatekeepy ass white people who are convinced that we can never be fucking qualified no matter what the fuck we do.
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